Heart Be Not Troubled

Heart Be Not Troubled


John 14:23-29
Gospel Reading for Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year C)

Heart be not troubled
Such an easy thing to say
Such a difficult thing to make it beat
Camels traipse through needle's eyes
Rich men squeeze into Kingdom gates
Yet the heart beats trouble
It pounds and thumps
The blood it pumps
Every drop a fight
Tooth and nail it tries
To be not troubled
But trouble finds its way into the stream

Do not be afraid
But afraid is a default response
Sometimes this world snarls
And hisses out threats
The world's native tongue is pain
It is fluent in hatred and anger
Fear is on its lips before you get out the door
The heart is scared
Scared of political machinations
And relational deconstructions 
Afraid that the heart wants what it wants
And what it wants is not what it needs
Frightened because it is frightened
When it's not supposed to be

Peace, he says, is what he gives
But the peace cannot just be a salve
A stint that helps the damaged arteries
That flow from a troubled, frightened heart
It has to be a transplant
The ribs must be cracked open
Life must hang in the balance
And a pulsing peace placed
Where trouble and fear once lived
But what if those poisonous cells survive?
Can the heart of peace fight off
The trouble and the fear?
Or are we just perpetual patients on a table
Waiting for another heart of peace
To replace the tired red in our chests? 

Flood our hearts with peace
Replace the heart, the blood,
Every artery and vein
The brain, the hands that wound
The mouths that speak violence
Please give peace
We need it so badly
For our hearts are troubled
And they are much afraid
Give us peace

The Marxist, Homosexual Atheist Who Told a Great Story About Jesus

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